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[373] members. Mr. Clingman of N. C.--who came into Congress as a “Whig” of very moderate views regarding Slavery, but had finally turned Democrat under the impulse of zeal for “ Southern Rights,” and been thereupon promoted from the House to the Senate, and who had changed from Douglas to Breckinridge toward the end of the Presidential canvass just closed — assailed the Message, so soon as it had been read, and broadly intimated that no concession would satisfy the South. The repeal of all “Personal liberty bills,” etc., he observed, “would not be satisfactory to the State from which I come.” He protested against “waiting for an overt act” before seceding, and against further parley or negotiation between the Free and the Slave States. Said he:
They want to get up a free debate, as the Senator from New York [Mr. Seward] expressed it, in one of his speeches. But a Senator from Texas told me the other day that a great many of these free debaters were hanging from the trees of that country [Texas]. I have no doubt they would run off a great many slaves from the Border States, so as to make them Free States; and then, Sir, when the overt act was struck, we should have a hard struggle. I say, therefore, that our policy is not to let this thing continue. That, I think, is the opinion of North Carolina. I think the party for immediate secession is gaining ground rapidly. It is idle for men to shut their eyes to consequences like this, if anything can be done to avert the evil, while we have power to do it.

Messrs. Albert G. Brown, of Mississippi, Louis T. Wigfall, of Texas, and Alfred Iverson, of Georgia, spoke in a similar strain, but even more plainly. Said Mr. Iverson:

Gentlemen speak of concession — of the repeal of the Personal Liberty bills. Repeal them all to-morrow, and you cannot stop this revolution. It is not the Liberty laws but the mob law which the South fears. They do not dread these overt acts; for, without the power of the Federal Government, by force, under Republican rule, their institution would not last ten years; and they know it. They intend to go out of this Union, and he believed this. Before the 4th of March, five States will have declared their independence, and he was satisfied that three other States would follow as soon as the action of their people can be had. Arkansas will call her Convention, and Louisiana will follow. And, though there is a clog in the way in the “lone star” of Texas, in the person of her Governor, who will not consent to call the Legislature, yet the public sentiment is so strong that even her Governor may be overridden; and, if he will not yield to that public sentiment, some Texan Brutus may arise to rid his country of this old, hoary-headed traitor. [Great sensation.] There has been a good deal of vaporing and threatening; but they came from the last men who would carry out their threats. Men talk about their eighteen millions; but we hear a few days afterward of these same men being switched in the face, and they tremble like a sheep-stealing dog. There will be no war. The North, governed by such far-seeing statesmen as the Senator from New York [Mr. Seward], will see the futility of this. In less than twelve months, a Southern Confederacy will be formed; and it will be the most successful Government on earth. The Southern States, thus banded together, will be able to resist any force in the world. We do not expect war; but we will be prepared for it; and we are not a feeble race of Mexicans either.

Messrs. Crittenden, of Kentucky, and Saulsbury, of Delaware, both spoke pleadingly for “conciliation” and the Union, but to deaf ears.

A caucus of Southern members was held on Saturday evening, December 8th; but it only served to develop more clearly the broad line of demarkation between the Unionists and the Disunionists. Messrs. Albert G. Brown, of Mississippi, and John Slidell, of Louisiana, were among the most fierce for Secession. Messrs. Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, and James M. Mason, of Virginia, favored further efforts, or, at least, further waiting, for conciliation. Messrs. Crittenden, Bayard,

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